Wednesday 5 May 2021

2 Poems by Iain Britton

 Silence of the sea

nothing satisfactorily
explains why we’ve come to view
this last transference of light on clouds –

at the couple pictured

we carry with us

stories & chants of forests & deserts - of sod villages –
people - who live by peat & stone - we are

killers & lovers - druids & cult figures
surrounded by winter fires

how far the morning seems
how far the city - which pulses with the buoyancy of children

trees rustle - small conversations

i grapple to understand the purpose

of your body close to mine - i want

to suffocate the spaces between us
squeeze out the folds of wildness

despite difficult intentions
we need to walk these gardens - these parklands

we need to pause for a time

to feel the silence of the sea

The late-night girls

send me to the town’s

bruised core

to the late-night girls
caught out by the early sun

an implosion of grace
& the last owl  - tunnels home

the first magnolia opens

let me find

alternative routes - lived-in dioramas
souls dyed in red iridescence - fag-ends
attached to the mouths of brothers & sisters

like a born prodigal – i walk

through kaleidoscopic patterns
that bedazzle paths

that keep halving - quartering

curled up in my hand - a message

stains & smells - won’t rub off

a person unknown - reads to me

amputations of sagas washed up on a beach


Iain, an Aotearoa New Zealand poet, has published several collections of poetry, mainly in the UK. Poems have been published or are forthcoming in Harvard Review, Poetry, The New York Times, Poet Lore, Wild Court, New Humanist, The Scores Journal, Stand, Agenda, New Statesman, Prototype, The Fortnightly Review, Poetry Wales and Poetry Birmingham. THE INTAGLIO POEMS was published by Hesterglock Press (UK) 2017.

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